Acupuncture has been used in East-Asian medicine for nearly thousands of years in order to treat pain. Apparently, conditions may possibly be treated by activating the body's natural painkillers. However, how it works at the cellular level is mostly unknown.
A University of Michigan study is known to be the foremost one to present confirmation that traditional Chinese acupuncture seems to influence the brain’s long-term ability to regulate pain. The data which they provided was carried out with the help of brain imaging.
To better understand this criterion, researchers examined nearly 20 women who seemed to have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is known to be a chronic pain condition and that patients were suffering from it for approximately one year. In this condition the patient experiences pain about half of the time.
In addition, patients were given position emission tomography (PET) scans of the brain during their first treatment. This treatment was then repeated a month later after the eight treatment.
During the analysis, researchers showed acupuncture increased the binding availability of mu-opoid receptors (MOR) in regions of the brain particularly in the cingulate, insula, caudate, thalamus and amygdala. Supposedly, MOR region processes and reduces pain signals.
Researchers were from the U-M Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center.